NewFronts 2015: Yahoo Brings The Stars With Everyone From Simon Cowell To Naomi Campbell Taking The Stage
The focus of this year's Yahoo presentation was long-form digital video content, including the launch of 18 new video series.
For this year’s NewFronts event, Yahoo crammed as many stars as it could fit into its presentation, starting with a performance by the renown DJ Steve Aoki at NYC’s Lincoln Center.
Following Aoki’s electronically-charged intro, Yahoo announced its new competition series “Ultimate DJ” by bringing on stage three of the show’s producers: Simon Cowell, director Hamish Hamilton (whose credits include this year’s Super Bowl halftime show and the Academy Awards) and Patrick Moxley, owner of the electronic music label Ultra Music.
“Ultimate DJ” is one of eighteen new long-form digital content series Yahoo will be launching this year.
Yahoo’s presentation made it clear the company is focusing its efforts on building a substantial library of both live and scripted digital video content to appeal to brands and advertisers.
Other new programs include the scripted series “The Pursuit” from writers Scott Stuber and Beth McCarthy Miller, and new digital magazine programs “Riding Shotgun” starring The Fast and Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez, and “I am Naomi” with Naomi Campbell – all of whom took the stage to announce their new shows.
Joel McHale from “Community” – a show Yahoo picked up last year after it was dropped by NBC – helped emcee the event along with Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt and Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo’s senior vice president of sales.
“Over the last year we’ve made strategic investments in our three digital content pillars, Yahoo Live, Yahoo Digital Magazines and Yahoo Originals,” said CMO Kathy Savitt, “We’re pleased to be extending those investments into premium video content offerings to guide our users to the best, most relevant content and the world’s best storytellers to our global audience.”
In addition to “Community” and “The Pursuit,” Yahoo has recently premiered to other scripted series: “Sin City Saints” and “Other Space.”
For live programming, the company is continuing its relationship with Live Nation to stream concerts and music festivals, and has entered a partnership with iHeartMedia to broadcast more music events.
Yahoo 2014 NewFronts presenter Katie Couric made an appearance to announce her new live weekly news show on Yahoo “Everybody’s Business.”
The presentation ended with CEO Marissa Mayer outlining all the ways Yahoo could help advertisers reach their intended audiences, including Tumblr’s latest Sponsored Ad of the Day, native advertising opportunities across the Yahoo network, as well as video ad opportunities made possible with last year’s acquisition of Brightroll.
Mayer also announced a new partnership with Millward Brown Digital to measure digital ad campaigns across Yahoo.
Before wrapping up the event, Yahoo played the following brand-sponsored video by Honda, featuring the “Community” cast. Honda entered an agreement in February as a presenting sponsor of “Community,” a deal that includes brand integration within the show, along with pre-roll video ads during the episodes and premium display ads and audience targeting across Yahoo’s network.